The federal election is just around the corner, and the Alliance urges you to be prepared to go to the polls! We've compiled a range of resources to help you to make an informed decision and get out the vote.
Be Prepared at the Polls
The Elections Canada website has all of the information you will need when it comes to election day. Here are some steps you can take to make sure that you are ready to vote:
- Ensure you are currently registered to vote by clicking here. If you are not registered, you can do so at your election day polling place just before you vote.
- Make sure that you know where to vote. To find your electoral district and polling place, click here and enter your postal code. You can also find your electoral district, including the list of candidates, locations of advance and election day polling places, the address of your local Elections Canada office and a map of your electoral district by clicking here;
- Be prepared with the appropriate ID at your polling place. For a full list of eligible voter ID, click here;
- Give yourself plenty of time on voting day. A record number of Canadians cast their ballots in advance voting, and some experienced wait times. Be prepared for a wait and adjust your schedule accordingly. Voting in BC takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You are legally entitled to take time off work to vote. Everyone who is eligible to vote must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day. The Alliance encourages all employers in our sector to allow their staff plenty of time off to vote on October 19.
Do Your Homework
There are a number of resources that can help you to make an informed decision when you go to the polls.
Review each party's website.
Parties present their platforms in an easy-to-read format that can help you get an idea about where they stand.
Learn about your candidates.
Parties’ websites often have a short bio on each candidate with links to his or her website and social media pages as well as contact information. Have a look at our Engage Your Candidates section to learn more about getting in touch with your future representative.
To learn what your current MP is up to, visit openparliament.ca to see how they've been voting in the House, which committees they've been engaged with, and what they've been saying in the media.
Keep an eye on the news.
Getting information from non-partisan sources is integral when deciding who to vote for. Check out reports from the CBC and Maclean's Issues 2015 (summarizes major election issues and the parties' stances on them in brief primers). You can also watch the polls to see what the current balance looks like; Nanos Research is one of the most reliable pollsters.
Learn where the parties stand on arts and culture.
The Alliance is a subscriber to The Arts Advocate, a great supporter of the arts in Canada. They have compiled a concise document that outlines what the parties are saying about specific arts and culture related topics, and they’ve given us permission to share this document with you. Click here to have a look.
Imagine Canada's Early Alert is a great resource for charitable organizations when it comes to being informed on Parliamentary and electoral activity. Sign up to stay up to date on important election developments affecting the not-for-profit and charity sector.
The Alliance conducted a formal Political Survey of the four major political parties on behalf of the arts and culture community, asking questions that relate directly to our sector and the parties’ national vision of the arts. Click the following links for the parties' responses:
Engage Your Community
Get out the vote by helping to inform your peers, friends, and family. Join the social media conversation! Popular hashtags include #artsvote, #elxn42, and #cdnpoli. If you’re a young voter, help to educate your peers, make sure they’re ready to vote, and show them that the issues are relevant to them.
If you belong to a charity or non-profit, there are certain rules and guidelines that you must follow in regards to political activity. See page 7 and Appendix D of our 2015 Federal Election Toolkit for more information.
The Alliance’s 2015 Federal Election Toolkit, which includes the information listed above and more, can be accessed via the Election Toolkit section on our website. You can also download the toolkit in pdf format here.
Below are more resources which include election toolkits and arts and culture advocacy:
Finally, get out and vote on October 19!